Business guide to Coronavirus

Latest News

Stay up to date with the latest news related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and what this means for your business. To stay up to date with the latest Government relief and stimulus packages, click here.

Last updated 1:37pm 2 April 2020

National news

1:37pm 2 April 2020 - Confirmed cases: There are now 935,840 confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide, with at least 5,105 confirmed cases in Australia. We will continue to provide advice as developments arise.

1:31pm 2 April 2020 – Proposed pandemic leave: The Fair Work Commission has issued a statement outlining its intention to update 103 awards during the coronavirus pandemic. Read more at Award flexibility during coronavirus.

1:20pm 2 April 2020 – Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced free child care will available for parents who still need it. Read more.

2:35pm 1 April 2020 – Australia Government announced measures to help secure freight access for Australian exporters: A new $110 million initiative will back Australia’s agricultural and fisheries sector, as well as increased funding for the Export Market Development Grant. Read more.

4:13pm 30 March 2020 – Government unveils Coronavirus wage subsidy for businesses workers: Businesses are expected to be paid a wage subsidy of $1,500 per employee, under the Federal Government Jobkeeper payment plan to keep Australians in work. Click here for more.

10:37pm 29 March 2020 – Federal Government clampdown on foreign investments: All foreign investment in Australia will now require approval in a move designed to prevent international raids on struggling companies hit by the Coronavirus pandemic. Read more.

6:54pm 29 March 2020 - PM addresses nation: Scott Morrison asks landlords and tenants, both residential and commercial, to work together as the government work through the next phase of economic support. Public gatherings is now limited to 2 people. Click here for more information.

6:43pm 29 March 2020 – $1.1 billion Medicare, mental health, domestic violence package on its way in response to Coronavirus crisis: The bulk of the package will go to expanding Medicare subsidies for telehealth services. Click here for further details.

3:08pm 29 March 2020 – Federal Government launches Coronavirus Australia app: The Coronavirus app allows users to navigate the latest advice and information about Coronavirus. Click here to learn more about the app.

2:40pm 27 March 2020 – The Federal Government has announced an economic hibernation: Policies are being developed to help businesses emerge after the Coronavirus crisis without crippling debts. For more details click here.

6:34am 27 March 2020 – Australia backs $7.5 trillion plan to kickstart global economy: Australia and other G20 nations have committed to co-ordinate efforts to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic. To read more about the virtual summit, click here.

1:22pm 25 March 2020 – Increased and accelerated income support: Expanded eligibility to income support payments and a new time-limited Coronavirus supplement. Click here.

8:52am 25 March 2020 – Access to Superannuation: The Government is allowing individuals affected by Coronavirus to access their superannuation. Click here.

9:48pm 24 March 2020 - Australia moves into Stage 2: The Federal government announced a further crackdown on social gathering, and has expanded the shutdown of non-essential services



6:41am 27 March 2020 – ACT Government expected to announce rental assistance package. The decision was meant to be unveiled on Tuesday, however it was delayed and is expected to be made today. Click here.

3:00am 18 March 2020 – ACT Government will direct support toward small business owners as well as aim to reduce cashflow pressures for sole traders and those in the ‘gig economy’. Read more.

10:46am 20 March 2020 – The ACT government has announced rates rebates, suspended fees and direct funding for arts and entertainment businesses, with a focus on sectors most likely to be affected by the Coronavirus. Click here to see how this impacts your business.


8:32am 26 March 2020 – SA Government announced $650 million rescue package aimed at saving South Australian jobs and supporting key industries. Click here for further details.

10:44am 23 March 2020 – The SA Government has restricted entry into South Australia with exemptions for “essential travel to maintain health, the food supply chain, and the state’s economic needs”. To find out what this means for your business, click here.


8:36pm 1 April 2020 – NT Government set for economic boost of $1 billion to buy time to keep its citizens healthy and in jobs, and businesses alive until the Coronavirus pandemic passes. Find out more.

2:36pm 24 March 2020 – The NT Government pledged $50 million to help territory businesses survive the economic impacts of Coronavirus. Click here to learn more.

7:51am 23 March 2020 – The NT Government’s new regulations impose tougher measures on those arriving in the NT from interstate or overseas. To find out what this means for businesses, click here.


11:19am 19 March 2020 - TAS Government introduces state of emergency with non-essential travel being ruled out, as tourism Tasmania encourages businesses to familiarise themselves with what assistance is available. Read more to find out how this impacts you.

17 March 2020 – TAS Government supporting local businesses through waiving payroll tax, grants and backing Tasmania’s tourism industry.


2:01pm 24 March 2020 – The QLD Government announced a $4 billion package, extending tax breaks for small to medium-sized businesses to prevent significant job losses. For more info click here.

7:12am 20 March 2020 - North Queensland travel and tourism industry is seeing an unprecedented drop-off in bookings. Townsville Enterprise Limited’s director of tourism and events stated that businesses are relying on government support through legislation. Click here to read more.

21 February 2020 – QLD Government supporting small businesses and exporters, tourism and hospitality, fishing industry, student support services and local agriculture.


8:04am 1 April 2020 – Locals to fill the medical supply chain: The NSW Government is calling on manufacturers around the State to help fill gaps in the global supply of medical equipment and hygiene products. Read more.

7:14am 30 March 2020 – NSW Government to start enforcing tougher Coronavirus restrictions: The introduction of legislation to reduce spread will come into place from midnight today. Read more.

5:15am 27 March 2020 – NSW Government to unveil $750 million stimulus package: The package is aimed at retaining and creating jobs as well as sustaining NSW businesses. Click here for further details.

6:23pm 24 March 2020 - NSW passes flexible long service: The NSW Parliament today passed changes to long service leave which will allow employees to take leave in shorter blocks.

2:15pm 17 March 2020 – The NSW government announced a $1.6 billion stimulus package, waiving payroll tax for businesses and bringing forward payroll tax cuts. We will continue to provide relevant information for what this means for your business.


10:22am 1 April 2020 – VIC Government announced a $1.3 billion funding boost for the state’s health system: The additional funding will ensure Victoria has the resources and capacity to treat thousands. Further details here.

8:59am 30 March 2020 – Victoria moves to stage three Coronavirus restrictions: Victorians face on-the-spot fines of more than $1,600 if they breach Coronavirus restrictions that limit gatherings to just two people. Click here for further details.

1:07pm 19 March 2020 - The VIC Government is working on a support package for hospitality businesses. This comes after the Governments ban on gatherings of 100 people or more, meaning some businesses are no longer viable to remain open. Find the latest on the government initiatives here.


4:31pm 31 March 2020 – WA Government has announced new relief package: The McGowan Government unveiled support for power and water bills, ensuring that no household or small to medium business will have their water or power shut off. Read more.

11:07pm 18 March 2020 - WA Government encourages people to still go out and support their local businesses despite some of Perth’s largest bars and nightclubs closing due to Covid-19. Find out more here.

12:00pm 16 March 2020 – WA Government extended financial support for small and medium businesses with public sector workers including casuals accessing 20 days of Covid-19 leave.

Previous National News updates

12:00pm 24 March 2020 – Relief to directors on insolvent trading laws: The Government has given six month relief to directors for any personal liability from trading while insolvent as part of its Covid-19 response package. The regulatory relief comes alongside further stimulus that bring the total announced so far by the government to 9.7 per cent of GDP or $189bn over the forward estimates. To learn more, click here.

9:30pm 22 March 2020 – PM shuts down of 'non-essential' services: Pubs, Clubs and Casinos will be shut down from midday 23rd March. Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway only. Schools will remain open.

11:45am 22 March 2020 –  The Federal Government is providing up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium sized businesses, and not-for-profits (including charities) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000. Click here to read more.

10:20am 22 March 2020 – $66 billion second stimulus package: The Federal government is set to unveil new measures including up to $100,000 for small businesses to keep their staff employed during the coronavirus crisis, and Commonwealth guarantee of unsecured loans of up to $250,000.

2:36pm 20 March 2020 – PM, Scott Morrison’s Coronavirus update: Federal budget postponed from May to October. Small and medium-sized businesses including sole traders, will be the focus for the second stimulus package.

11:08am 20 March 2020 – ABA relief for small business: The Australian Banking Association announced all small businesses who are impacted by Coronavirus will be entitled to a six-month deferral on all business loans.

4:35pm 19 March 2020 – Borders closed: PM, Scott Morrison has announced a travel ban on all non-residents and non-Australia citizens coming to Australia, effective from 9pm on Friday 20th March 2020.

2:30pm 19 March 2020 – Reserve Bank of Australia: RBA cuts cash rate target to 0.25%, $90 billion term funding facility for the banking system, credit to SMEs and exchange settlement balances to be remunerated at 10 basis points.

12:04pm 18 March 2020 – Social distancing: Australians are being ordered not to travel overseas. Non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people are banned, schools will remain open.


How can we help?

Business Australia has a range of resources on how to prepare yourself and your business during this time.

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